For industries like aerospace or automotive, or other verticals that manufacture parts that are subject to rigorous testing and safety controls like medical devices or heavy machinery, the First Article Inspection (FAI) is a critical touchpoint in the R&D process.

Every industry has specific compliance requirements, but FAI reporting, or FAIR, determines whether or not the production of any individual component can move forward. Revisions to parts must also be subjected to FAIR approval.

The documentation that must be presented for FAI is demanding and specific. 2D drawings are required to be exhaustively diagrammed by way of ballooned drawings to detail each individual piece, and an accompanying list of measurements is expected for each submission.

The time that goes into developing this documentation means that even a small company can quickly develop a backlog, and larger enterprises may have a queue numbering in the thousands, all waiting for their own technical data package (TDP) to be created and checked before submission for FAIR.

DISCUS IDA™ helps resolve the issue of documentation requirements, helping to clear backlog, speed the TDP creation process, and allow for a quick review of results.

Reduced employee time investments

Completing a TDP manually takes at least 2 hours, assuming the part or component being sent for FAI is simple and the documents require minimal data extraction. If there is any complexity involved, the time could easily stretch to much longer than that.

Optical Character Recognition, or OCR, was able to significantly speed up this process. A cursor can be used to create a balloon around a specific area of a PDF or other drawing image, and the text extracted for faster list generation.

With OCR, a FAIR documentation task that would take 2 hours for a staff member to complete manually can be finished in as little as 40 minutes, decidedly speeding up the workflow. However, OCR has its own set of limitations, and cannot overcome exceptions. Although a 66% reduction in time spent is considerable, the backlog for many companies is so vast that there is plenty of room for improvement.

IDA™ is capable of automating even more of the process, ballooning automatically without the need for human input. All staff members need to do is run the IDA™ process, and the AI analyzes the document, generates a bill of characteristics, and updates the TDP summary report (including all measurements and details as extracted from the drawing) for user review.

The staff member can review this process of a completed package in around 5 minutes for a simple file, cutting the time investment even further from the original 2 hours or more required to do a comprehensive TDP creation and review.

Even for complex packages requiring extra attention from a staff member, IDA™ helps facilitate rapid workflows. IDA™ is much better than OCR at picking up all of the information and displaying it accurately.

This shortening of the time frame required per TDP allows for a significant reduction of backlogged TDPs. As the bottleneck opens up, more packages can be sent for FAIR completion, and revisions can be handled just as quickly, increasing overall throughput and maximizing productivity.

The reduction in human error caused by high workloads and complex repetitive processes is another source of savings. Fewer TPDs come back due to failing the FAI, thanks to the higher accuracy made possible by AI. Between the speed of the workflows, the increased precision, and the freshness with which human staffers can approach each review, the savings can be unending.

Save time and money with DISCUS Software

DISCUS Software led the development of AI-powered tools to transform the way technical data packets are analyzed. IDA™ both addresses the issue of First Article Inspection failures and increases the speed at which documentation can be prepared for review. The savings in time and money and increased precision with which TDPs can be pushed through each process make IDA™ the ideal software solution for your engineering documentation needs.

To learn more about leveraging IDA™ across your organizational workflows, get in touch with our team to schedule your demo today.